PANEL 4 - Saturday 29 March
Thomas More I:
"Thomas More Facing his Time"
Mary Clow - The Tyndale Society
"Playful Fantasy or Good Manners Manual: two carefully constructed critiques of early modern England"
Abstract of Mary Clow's paper
Thomas More's Utopia wittily describes the laws and customs of an imaginary country, William Tyndale's The Obedience of a Christian Man outlines ideal practices for a just society: both systems are equally impossible to achieve, in both books the sub-text is the brutal nature of life in Tudor England. Two visionary near-contemporaries, though bitter rivals in religion, shared a common revulsion at the hypocrisy and immorality of their times, engendered by each man’s personal faith. Both were forced to couch their meaning – More in ironic literary sophistication, Tyndale in gently humorous amiability – to avoid the potential wrath of their most avid reader, the Monarch himself.
Hélène Suzanne - Polonia University, Czestochowa, Poland
"Conscience in the Early Renaissance: Thomas More and Arts in his time"
Abstract of Hélène Suzanne's paper
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the concept of “conscience” in the late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance with the example of Thomas More and some painters of his time, and try to define the concept of conscience through their works. Therefore, we shall address the nature and meaning of the concept of “conscience” in the Early Renaissance in Europe, its development in some paintings of the time, and how the artists expressed it. Although we currently call Thomas More a “man of conscience”, not only in his time, but in “all times”, we do not know much about Thomas More's acquaintance with painters, with the exception of Holbein the Young. The question then is “is art solely expressing an 'air du temps' while a man like Thomas More, completely involved in his society expresses only himself through his social, political and religious attitudes?”
William Rockett - University of Oregon, USA
"Thomas More and Juristic Theology"
| Abstract of William Rockett's paper
Thomas More built his opposition to reform on a foundation of canon law because he believed the offenses of the reformers fell within the spiritual jurisdiction rather than the temporal; that these offenses were by right adjudicated in the church courts, not the Crown courts; and that the supreme authority in cases of unlawful theological innovation was not that of English kings but that of popes and councils. This paper's argument is that the canonical system that served as More's defense against innovation was created in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. This was the era of Gregorian reform, of Gratian's Decretum
, and of the phenomenon known as juristic theology.